An important component of any website is photography. Photos have that oh so special way of communicating so much and if done well, they captivate their viewer no end. It then goes without saying that a bit of planning is needed to get the right photos for your website.
Finding your website photographer
In business it plays to surround yourself with people who have the skills that complement yours. A key asset for your business is a photographer who is local, has the style that matches your brand and who is able to make you comfortable in front of the camera. Not every photographer will be your perfect match.
Here are some tips to get you on the right path to finding a photographer who fits best:
- Ask your business besties for photographers they recommend. Ask them why they love working with them.
- View a photographer’s portfolio via their website. Does their style resonate with your brand? Do they have experience with the type of photography you’re after?
- Take the time to have a phone chat (or meet in person) before committing to a photoshoot. Does the photographer listen to your needs or steamroll you into what they want for you?
Planning your website photoshoot
Once you’ve found your photographer, you’ll want to plan your photoshoot so you get the most out of your session. A good starting point is to revisit what your brand is all about. Answering these questions will provide ideas for the following sections:
- Why do you do what you do?
- Who is your ideal client/customer?
- What is your brand’s style? (eg. vibrant vs monochrome, energetic vs minimal, approachable, friendly, professional, etc)
- What are your brand colours? (Include both your primary and secondary colours)
Props help to create balance in your photos and are a way of communicating qualities of your brand. Based on your branding information, what types of props would be perfect to fit your business’ style? Here are some ideas:
- Plants – Give a fresh feel to your brand. Think about the tone of greens to choose from.
- Books – Make you appear learned and that you’re passionate about the subject area you specialise in. Think about the cover colour (does it complement your brand?) as well as the title.
- Stationery – Pens, pencils, paper… Who doesn’t like stationery?! If it fits with your brand, perhaps an action photo of your in writing mode would help balance out your headshots.
- Tools of your trade – Shows you have the tools to get the work done. The next time you sit down to do the work, look around at the props that could be right in front of you.
- Props of comfort – Depending on your brand, you may want the right colour cushion on the couch with you. Other ideas may include a teapot and cup or a coffee.
Again, it depends on your brand as to which props are right for you. Refer back to your brand colours as well to ensure your props will look the part on your website. Have a go at setting up your props a week before your photoshoot. Are there any missing components you can buy to complete the picture?
Choosing the right clothes that will convey what you’re all about can be a tricky thing. Engaging the services of a professional stylist would be the ideal way to achieve your look. If that’s outside your budget, checking in your brand will point you in the right direction.
Think about the your brand colours. Consider your brand positioning (professional or casual, classic or contemporary, affordable or upmarket). Above all, what do you feel the most comfortable in while still being the face of your brand?
Have a few outfits chosen so that you can create a few different looks during the photoshoot. Make it easy to change as well. For example, wearing your pants or skirt of choice and have a few different tops can easily mix things up.
The location of your photoshoot plays a big part in setting the right scene for your photos and your website. There are a few elements to consider when choosing your photoshoot location:
- Is there enough light for the photographer to get the right exposure? Or will they need to bring their own lighting (beware that this can add to the price)?
- Is the room large enough to get different angles?
- Does the location have the furniture you need? Or will you need to BYO?
- Time of day is important. Aim for morning or late afternoon for the best lighting.
- Booking your photoshoot will mean that you can’t predict the weather. Do you have a wet weather plan?
- What backdrop do you want? Rustic laneway vs green park? Again, consider your brand.
If you’re wanting multiple locations for your photoshoot, be aware that this will add to the time that your photographer will charge for.
Types of photos
You’ll want to brief your photographer on the types of photos you’re wanting to get from the photoshoot. The more information you give them, the better equipped they’ll be to get the most out of the time you have together. Your website will benefit from a variety of photo angles, depths and subject matters.
- Wide angle photos are great for banner images
- Action photos of you doing your work
- Photos with you and a client interacting
- Photos of your props (without you in them)
- Profile photos of you that can go on your website and social media
You can also curate a Pinterest board of the types of photos you’re wanting and share the board with your photographer.
Investing in a professional photoshoot will do wonders for your website. Your photos will be consistent and they’ll match your brand. And you’ll have a catalogue of photos to use on your social media platforms and for print if needed. Trust in your photographer to take your website to the next level.
The finished product
Once you have your beautiful photos, you’re ready to hand them onto your web designer to bring it all to life on your new website. Interested in seeing how I creatively use professional photos in my designs? Check out my portfolio for how I do this. And having professional photos as part of your brand assets is just one of main elements involved with planning your website. Ideally you’ll have your plan in place before building your website.